Revelation 1:1-8 Introduction
I am a layperson and I do not pretend to interpret the Scriptures.
I would sound like one who does not have the authority (Matthew 7:28-29)
New American Standard Bible (NASB) is used unless otherwise noted.
If you do not have a Bible, I invite you to go to BibleGateway.com or another online Bible.
I also suggest you use the Bible you are familiar with and compare.
Your familiarity may help you understand.
Is the Name of the last Book of the Bible plural? Or Singular?
Commonly accepted as written by John the Apostle
Various Interpretative approaches to Revelation:
1. Preterist: All of Revelation was fulfilled during the first century.
2. Historical: Revelation is being fulfilled during the history of the church.
3. Idealist: depiction of struggle between good and evil.
4. Futurist: It is all in the future. (MacArthur, New Testament Commentary: Revelation 1-11. [Chicago: Moody Publishers, 1999], 9)
Introduction Revelation 1:1-8
1. The Revelation of Jesus Christ
The last book of the Bible tells how it all ends.
Which God gave Him
God chose John to give us the Revelation of Jesus Christ.
To show to His bond-servants
This is you and me folks.
In Greek, the word translated bond-servants means slave
What does slave mean? A slave is owned by another.
Here it refers to a different type of slave—one who served out of love and devotion to his master (MacArthur, 18)
Jesus owns those who have accepted him as their Lord and Savior.
Does this put sin in a different light for you?
The things which must soon take place;
But do not let this one fact escape your notice, beloved, that with the Lord one day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years like one day. 2 Peter 3:8
Think about it since Jesus was on earth it has only been two days!
God is not concerned about time.
Therefore be on the alert, for you do not know which day your Lord is coming. Matthew 24:42
And He sent and communicated it by His angel to His bond-servant John
God sent an angel to deliver His message to John.
Notice the progression here
(Easley, 12) (McGee, 888)
2. who testified to the word of God and to the testimony of Jesus Christ, even to all that he saw.
Did you catch this?
John is a witness for the Word of God, but who provides the testimony? Jesus
3. Blessed is he who reads and those who hear the words of the prophecy, and heed the things which are written in it; for the time is near.
You are blessed:
• When you read Revelation
• Hear the words of this prophecy
• Keep those things written in it (Easley, 13)
When John wrote his letters and Revelation how were they distributed?
They were handwritten and taken from church to church.
Take away all the modern technology and our printed Bibles:
Just think about listening to a preacher read the Words of the Bible.
In Nehemiah 8 Ezra read from morning until midday.
Think about how long we are willing to listen to someone reading the Bible.
It was the 1400’s before the printing press was invented.
4. John to the seven churches that are in Asia:
They were in what is now Western Turkey
( Map A ) is a Map of the Seven Churches*
Grace to you and peace
Do not be frightened when studying the Book of Revelation
It brings grace and peace
From Him who is and who was and who is to come,
God, past, present, and future
And from the seven Spirits who are before His throne,
This refers to the Holy Spirit but there is only one Holy Spirit.
5. From Jesus Christ, the faithful witness.
Speaks the truth (MacArthur, 25)
Who is the faithful witness? Jesus
The firstborn of the dead
There were others who were raised from the dead, including Lazarus.
In Psalm 89:27 God said
“I also shall make him My firstborn, The highest of the kings of the earth” (NASB)
That makes Jesus the firstborn of the dead.
And the ruler of the kings of the earth.
Jesus is the King of the world.
To Him who loves us and released us from our sins by His blood
Jesus paid for our sins on the cross!
We are free!
We enter this kingdom when we accept Jesus as our Savior. (Colossians 1:13)
Priests to His God and Father
We have direct access to God the Father² (26) (1 Peter 2:9-10)
To Him be the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen.
We need to Praise Him.
Titles which are given to Jesus:
1. Faithful Witness
2. Firstborn from the dead
3. Ruler of kings
4. To Him who loved us
5. Washed us from sins with His own blood
6. Made us kings and priests to His God and Father
7. To Him be glory and dominion forever and ever. (McGee, 890)
We enter His kingdom by believing in Him. (Romans 10:8-10)
7. Behold, He is coming with the clouds
This verse records the first prophecy of Revelation.
The return of Jesus:
God was present in the cloud.
Jesus will come on the clouds when He returns (Matthew 24:30)
Every eye will see Him
Even on the other side of the earth.
They who pierced Him.
Who pierced Jesus?
Does it refer to the Roman soldiers who crucified Him?
Or does it refer to the Jews who wanted Him crucified? (Zechariah 12:10)
All the tribes will mourn
NIV translates this as: all peoples on earth
Those who have not accepted Jesus as their Savior (Romans 10:8-10)
And they did not repent of their murders nor of their sorceries nor of their immorality nor of their thefts (Revelation 9:21)
8 “I am the Alpha and the Omega”
The Lord God is speaking:
Alpha and omega are the first and last letters of the Greek alphabet.
We would say the “A and the Z.” The Beginning and the End.
“Almighty God” is found 8 times in Revelation.
God’s power is supreme
In this article Scripture quotations taken from the NASB1995. Copyright by The Lockman Foundation.
Easley, Kendell H., Holman New Testament Commentary: Revelation. Nashville: B&H, 1998
MacArthur, John. New Testament Commentary: Revelation 1-11. Chicago: Moody Publishers, 1999
McGee, J. Vernon, Thru the Bible: Volume V. Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1983